CARB proposes rules to cut truck emissions

The California Air Resources Board on Friday, Oct. 24, made two draft regulations available for public comment that require the installation of devices and phaseout of older equipment in order to reduce the emissions of oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and greenhouse gases from trucks and buses. The regulations apply to equipment operated in California regardless of where they are based.

The first proposed regulation would require truck owners to install diesel exhaust filters on their trucks starting in 2010, with nearly all vehicles upgraded by 2014. Owners also must phase out engines older than the 2010 equivalent according to a staggered implementation schedule between 2012 and 2022.

The statewide truck regulation gives truck owners a choice of one of three compliance options. Exceptions to the regulation include low-use vehicles, emergency and military tactical vehicles, and personal-use motor homes. School buses would be subject only to requirements for reducing diesel particulate matter and not for engine replacement.

The second regulation would require that fleet owners adopt SmartWay specifications for long-haul tractors pulling 53-foot van trailers as well as the trailers themselves. The goal is to reduce fuel consumption, thereby cutting greenhouse cases. New tractors and trailers would be required to meet SmartWay specs beginning with model year 2010. Older tractors would have to be retrofit with fuel-efficient tires by 2012, while older trailers would have to be retrofit with aerodynamic devices and fuel-efficient tires by 2013.

The state already has approved more than $1 billion in grants and low-cost loans to help truck owners fund early or additional compliance. CARB is looking at ways to integrate the two programs so that truck owners can obtain grants and loans for both simultaneously, minimizing paperwork and reducing the monthly payments for a new truck loan.

A public hearing on the two proposed regulations is scheduled for Dec. 11-12 in Sacramento. For more information on the greenhouse gas reduction measure, click here. For more information on the statewide truck and bus regulation, click here.

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The proposed regulations also will be among several issues discussed in a free CCJ webinar, “The Impact of California on Trucking Operations,” to be held Thursday, Oct. 30. Mike Tunnell, director of environmental affairs for the American Trucking Associations, will discuss several major environmental initiatives in California that are affecting and will affect the trucking industry. Attorney Henry Seaton will address legal worries for trucking in California, especially challenges to owner-operator classification. For more information and to register, visit